Culture and History
Memorial dedicated the victims of World War II
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The memorial was opened in 1985. Soviet soldiers and victims of Nazi terror who died in the vicinity of Valmiera during World War II were reburied in the common cemetery.
The authors of the memorial are sculptors Zigrīda Rapa (previously Fērnava-Tiščenko), Juris Rapa (previously - Tiščenko), architects Ēvalds Fogelis, Jānis Lejnieks, Jānis Rutkis, Andris Vītols and engineer-constructor Ivars Veldrums. The municipality and society of the district at that time also played an important role in the construction of the memorial. The participation of the city's residents in the course of the memorial's creation has increased its public significance.
The Allaži limestone was used to decorate the memorial ensemble, as well as the Riga Brothers' cemetery. And its main image is a broken linden coat of arms of Valmiera city. There are two sculptures on both sides of the memorial’s ensemble. Their form symbolises the rhythm of life and death. The figures facing the Gauja river form a semicircular space, marking the boundary between the past and the present. On the city side, the overall image is wrapped in the shape of a tense arch. A figure of a living soldier is facing the spectator, who is coming from the side of the city along the bridge leading to the deep ravine, the hand-drawn diagonal of which forms a support for the floor of the upper, fallen member. On the burial terrace, the soldiers were lined up so that those who had fought side by side in battle would rest under one sod.
On the lower terrace of the memorial there is a separate decorative dendrological composition "Golden Apple Tree", marking the place with a granite slab - here the Jews are reburied. Along with people who did not return from the war, bronze apples lie not picked up. "Ābele" is part of the joint ensemble of the Brothers' cemetery memorial. Despite the tragic nature of the somewhat symbolic artistic image, the composition expresses a belief in the immortality of the people, a belief that new cities will again rise from the ruins. The Valmiera heraldry used in the frame of the eternal fire and a reminder of the coat of arms of the city destroyed in the war - linden - a tree that now grows at the feet of fallen soldiers, a tree whose roots have been carved in the war. Its annual rings record the history of the city, where wars have alternated with new origins.
Source: Aivars Leitis